THE TIME WE GOT BUSTED BY POLICE
Hey guys this is finally my first blog for Petrol The Series. I know you’ve all been waiting and losing sleep waiting for this blog, but finally I had some time since we just completed post-production on our second feature film GEAR http://www.gearthemovie.com
So now, we can return back to PETROL. As the director and one of the writer/producers of Petrol I thought I’d write a blog to go over some of the more interesting aspects of making Petrol The Series. We have tons of behind-the-scenes videos on YouTube but I know some anecdotes are more interesting to read about and several were not caught on camera, such as the time our set was raided by some of Toronto’s finest.
Gather around kids, and I’ll tell you all about how Petrol was paid a visit by the Toronto Police Department during our very first day of filming. Day 1. Scene 1.
And then things got worse from there.
Maybe raided is a harsh word – what happened was we had set up a jewelry store to be robbed in Episode 1 “Runaway Bride” which you can see here.
We had a great location and everything was set to go but there was one thing we failed to consider. What I usually like to do in these kinds of crime scenes is notify the police. Now most of the time during these kinds of shoots where people will be using either weapons or where we’re staging a crime – we always call ahead and speak with the public affairs department of the local police force. We let them know what we’re doing, where, at what time, etc.
However, this time since we were on private property and inside a location, shooting interiors only – it really didn’t occur to us that anyone would see anything. It was a closed set but one thing we forgot to take into account is that there are massive windows to the street outside. So… it’s early in the morning, we start shooting and masked men armed with hand guns begin casing the joint… which is all on display to every pedestrian outside.
The funny thing is, we all had our backs to the window so we couldn’t tell if there was anyone out there or not. Well there were… and they thought the jewelry store was actually being robbed. Despite a pretty massive Red One MX camera by the window. As we filmed, I was standing with my back to the window and I think it was about the third take when I looked behind me to see a police cruiser driving on the wrong side of the road approaching us at high speed.
It clicked in right away… and when I saw the officers come out you could tell that they were ready to handle an actual (armed?) robbery. Two police officers exited the vehicle very quickly with an intense look on their face speaking into their radios. Then another police car showed up and they all entered the store. I had only a few seconds to tell everybody on set to just stop what they were doing and do not make any sudden movements. I told the actors playing the robbers to take off their masks and for everybody to get ready to be busted, and whatever you do… be calm! When the lead officer walked in, I made direct eye contact, hands clearly visible… and as soon as he saw the camera, he took a huge sigh of relief and said
“You gotta be (expletive) kidding me. You guys are making a movie???
Then the situation was de-escalated very quickly. We apologized and spoke about the fact that we didn’t consider notifying the police since we were going to be inside the whole time, also ain’t nobody got time for that. At the end of the day it’s a lesson for us and anyone considering filming these kinds of scenes that you should always take into consideration that windows are visible to people outside and sometimes people can see through them.
The worst part is is that we had a Panasonic gh2 as a B Cam mounted very high on a wide-angle lens looking at the entire store. This was essentially the surveillance camera POV that you see in Petrol Episode 1. As luck would have it, although that camera would have recorded the audio and video of the entire shenanigan, the police entry,the shock and then look of relief on the police officer’s faces, the laugh we all had later… we weren’t rolling the entire time – which really sucks as it would have been a great YouTube clip. Oh well lesson learned, next time ABR – Always Be Rolling.
That’s all for this episode, next time I will talk about the making of Episode 2. Your Debt is Paid Thanks for reading, and if you want to find out more about the series be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/petroltheseries or check out our webpage at www.petroltheseries.com
Petrol The Series